In the half light from the bathroom I take one last look at her. Her already dark skin is almost black against the white of the sheets; an explosion of black kinky hair frames her beautiful face still stunning even in sleep, her dark lips curled in a barely perceptible smile. She was a captivating mixture of beauty and athleticism that fueled an almost unquenchable sexual appetite, and I had enjoyed every ounce of it. Sadly, it was unlikely I would see her again. She was smart but naïve that could be a dangerous combination in a dangerous pastime.
Snapping up my car keys I head for the door. The last thing I pick up is the plastic wrapped brick lying behind the front door. Twenty inches long by six inches high and ten inches wide it looked like it should weigh more than it did. As it was, it was just slightly under two and a half pounds, one thousand grams; pretty light or pretty heavy depending on the vernacular you’re speaking in. It represented almost two weeks effort and in the end I couldn’t have done it without her. She had been my way past the gatekeeper and I had spent most of the previous evening and night showing my appreciation.
Street value is a fickle thing, depending on which side of the street you’re on. On the side of the street I didn’t want to be on it represented probable life in prison, on the side of the street I planned to stay on it represented thousands of dinero. I was committed to my side of the street, but yesterday it had been a near thing. Sometimes those things go as smooth as silk, and then there was yesterday.
I am not a dealer, I’m a courier. It is the only skill that my Army career trained me for. I’m honest; mostly, dependable; even when it isn’t convenient and I’m very good at what I do. It provides extra income, and it makes my life more interesting. I have learned that there are a lot of wrong things that happen in this world, but your interpretation of wrong largely depends upon which end of the ‘shit-stick’ you’re on. I’ve also learned that things that people believe are right in this world seem to revolve around their profit and loss ratios. Good and bad are subjective judgments that are made mostly by people who make those judgments from a distance. Personally; I just don’t care. What I do is interesting, occasionally dangerous, always exciting, and which side of the ‘good and bad’ line I’m on is irrelevant to me. That’s my drug; stress, I’m a stress junkie. It helps me feel like I’m not dead inside.
It started with a friend who knew a guy, who knew another guy and so on, the way these things always start. It had culminated with a drive to Knox College in Galesburg to be exact and a displaced Inner-City Chicago kid who mistakenly was trying to be a college student. He had plenty of product but no market. Why he had no market became instantly clear when we met him. He was a wigged-out speed freak dressed in clothes that were two sizes too large due to his rail thin body, his eyes bugged out of his head and his nose ran constantly, which he wiped with his fingers and then on his filthy pants leg. His face featured an entire crop of acne in varying states of maturity. His apartment was full of trash, dirty laundry, and the aroma of a full back-alley dumpster air freshener. No one in their right mind would have done business with him, he twitched and fidgeted, he would sit only to jump back up on his feet, he paced and checked the windows in his amped up paranoia. He had put all of his feelers out for buyers but there had been no bites. Now the walls were closing in on him and he needed to get rid of it. As a result, the price dropped considerably and my friend who had a friend, who knew a friend and so on came into the market. To be honest the guy scared the crap out of me, I’ve seen what speed fueled paranoia is capable of.
I don’t make the deals, only the transfers, as a courier, the deal is done before I arrive, and I’m not there to make friends; or negotiate. The bread was counted and the weed was tested both were acceptable by most standards. The ‘burn-out’ liked the look of my friend, he’d been expecting her. He didn’t like the look of me. He didn’t like my face, he especially didn’t like my name, hell he probably didn’t even like my boots. Personally, I like my boots, a lot.
The more he twitched the more paranoid he got. He started talking about undercover pigs and getting held up. Because of the danger he might be in he decided that it would be a good idea to shake me down, and to raise the already agreed to price. I simply turned and headed for the door, I get paid whether I deliver or not, and I had a reliable witness that the deal’s failure was not my fault. I get paid a lot more if do deliver though so I was getting a little agitated myself, maybe a bit more than a little.
He cut me off as I was headed to the door, vaulting onto the sofa and running to the end closest to the door he where he balanced on the armrest in his electrified state, eyes twitching in their sockets. Then he made a big mistake, he pulled a knife out of his back pocket. It was a very respectable one. My reflexes were faster than my thought processes and they decided that a sedative would do him a lot of good. Maybe help calm him down a little; I gave him one. By the time I had considered it he was resting comfortably and my knuckles hurt. He was already on the sofa anyway. I left the money, took the bail of weed and kept the knife. It really was a very nice knife.